San Francisco and San Mateo counties fall into purple tier

San Francisco and San Mateo counties are being downgraded into the “purple” tier of the state’s reopening plan as of Saturday. Marin County is the only Bay Area county left in the “red” (substantial) tier.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced Saturday afternoon via social media, calling the latest figures, “the most aggressive surge SF has seen to date.”

“We’re currently averaging 118 new cases per day compared to 73 per day in the first week of November,” Breed wrote in a series of tweets. “For the week of November 16th, we had 768 diagnosed cases compared to 217 diagnosed cases the week of October 12th.”

Beginning Sunday at noon, Breed announced that retail stores, including shopping centers and essential retail businesses, must reduce indoor capacity to 25 percent. This does not include standalone grocery stores, which are allowed to continue to operate at 50 percent capacity.

Outdoor amusement attractions, such as carousels and Ferris wheels, as well as indoor movie theaters, indoor gyms and fitness centers, indoor museums, aquariums, and zoos, must close.

As of Monday at 10 p.m., San Francisco will begin following the state’s Limited Stay at Home Order and bar different households from gathering indoors and outdoors between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. until December 21, Breed further stated.

To see an updated list of restrictions, head to San Francisco’s city website here.

San Mateo County also stated that it will be following California’s stay-at-home order beginning Monday at 10 p.m.

San Mateo County reported an approximate 85 percent spike in new COVID-19 cases from October to November, according the county statement. The county’s new adjusted case rate is now at 7.6 per 100,000 population.

“We have not seen numbers like this in quite a while and we really need to reverse this incredibly troubling trend,” County Manager Mike Callagy said in the county’s statement. “What’s important to remember is that we can reverse the trend as long as we follow common-sense health and safety practices.”

San Mateo county’s updated list of restrictions can be found here.

The state’s system sorts counties into four tiers — “purple” (widespread), “red” (substantial), “orange” (moderate), or “yellow” (minimal) — that measures the spread of COVID-19 and dictate what types of businesses and activities are allowed to open. The structure allows counties to be more restrictive and move more slowly than the state in its reopening if they wish.

A county’s tier assignment is based on two key metrics: the case rate (number of new cases per 100,000 residents) and the positivity rate (percentage of people who test positive for the virus of all individuals who are tested.) A health equity metric is also part of the equation but only comes into play to help a county move to a less restrictive tier.

Counties in the purple category report more than seven new daily cases per 100,000 residents and have positivity rates above 8%. For a county to move into the red tier, it must report fewer than seven daily cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity rate under 8% for 14 consecutive days. The orange tier requires fewer than 3.9 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity under 4.9%, and the yellow less than one case per 100,000 and lower than 2% positivity.

SFGATE news editor Amy Graff contributed to this report.

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